National trends of preoperative imaging modalities before partial nephrectomy for renal masses in the U.S. from 2007–2015


  • Jae Heon Kim Stanford University Medical Center
  • Shufeng Li
  • Yash Khandwala
  • Francesco Del Giudice
  • Kyung Jin Chung
  • Hyung Keun Park
  • Benjamin I. Chung



partial nephrectomy, kidney neoplasms, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, biopsy


Introduction: Although the performance of partial nephrectomies (PN) for renal masses has increased rapidly over the years, only a few studies have investigated the frequency and patterns of preoperative imaging modalities. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency and patterns in preoperative imaging modalities before PN.

Methods: A total of 21 445 patients who underwent PN between 2007 and 2015 were selected from a national representative population in the MarketScan database and included in this study. The annual incidence and proportion of PN, as well as the use of each preoperative imaging modality were analyzed.

Results: Both annual crude number and frequency rate of PN decreased or became static since 2012. Computed tomography (CT) shows the greatest proportion of the crude number and percentage; despite a slight decrease in percentage, it is still >80%. Among the combinations, CT alone and CT combined with ultrasonography showed the highest performance rate during the complete observational period. The proportion of all other combinations, which include other complex combinations except CT alone, CT plus ultrasonography, CT plus magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and CT plus MRI plus ultrasonography, was 13.95% in 2007, but increased to 19.04% in 2014.

Conclusions: CT still plays a major role in preoperative imaging for renal masses, whereby CT alone and CT combined with ultrasonography account for a major proportion of the preoperative imaging patterns. The use of other imaging combinations, as well as renal biopsies, shows an increasing trend. Additional studies are needed to investigate whether this trend in preoperative imaging is related to the frequency rate of PN.


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How to Cite

Kim, J. H., Li, S., Khandwala, Y., Del Giudice, F., Chung, K. J., Park, H. K., & Chung, B. I. (2018). National trends of preoperative imaging modalities before partial nephrectomy for renal masses in the U.S. from 2007–2015. Canadian Urological Association Journal, 13(3).



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